Favorite Yachting Bar: Bitter End Yacht Club and the Lemon Crash
Planter’s punches and banana daiquiris are well and good, but after a long day of sailing, what sets you right is the restorative cool and tang of the Lemon Crash, a signature drink of this British Virgin Islands sailing mecca.
The Bitter End Yacht Club of North Sound, Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgins, has been well-known to Caribbean sailors and adventurers for almost 40 years. And once again, the Bitter End is a finalist in the annual Wight Vodka Best Yachting Bar contest (see Favorite Sailors’ Bar Contest Underway). The resort actually has four bars, including the relatively new Crawl Pub, now a booming sports bar with big-screen HDTVs — but the iconic one is the long mahogany Clubhouse bar next to the main dining room, with its terrace overlooking North Sound.
The Clubhouse bar is festooned with yacht club burgees and other nautical memorabilia, and is decidedly more civilized in a laid-back kind of way than typical loud-shout bars. This is where BVI cruising pioneers like Don Street and Bill Robinson met long ago to swap yarns and discuss the future of Virgin Islands sailing and chartering. It’s where the world’s top racing sailors from Ted Hood to Russell Coutts have gathered regularly with resort guests after North Sound racing. And it’s where countless charterers have elbowed up after sailing the waters of Drake’s Passage.
Just as legendary as the bar itself are Willis and Gunny, steady-handed men who have doled out refreshments from behind the mahogany for many years. And here’s their recipe for the Lemon Crash (which is also destined to appear in the boats.com Holiday Cheer Cocktail Guide):
Frozen Lemon Crash
- fresh lemon wedges
- sugar syrup
- lime juice
- Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
Blend all ingredients thoroughly with ice. Serve in a 16-oz glass or BEYC cup. Garnish with a lemon wedge and cherry.
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Tags: Bitter End Yacht Club, Lemon Crash, yachting bars